So, apparently, children’s movies were not the only movies that I was behind on watching. Last Thursday night at our small group, the topic of old movies somehow came up.

Not old like Casablanca old, but 80’s and 90’s old. Because we’re getting old these days, you know.

Anyway, so somehow old movies came up. And every single one they mentioned, I had to admit that I hadn’t seen it.

And so, in ever increasingly high-pitched voices, my friends kept shrieking,

“You haven’t seen Steel Magnolias?!?”

“You haven’t seen Fried Green Tomatoes?!?!”

You haven’t seen Apollo 13?!?!?!?!”


And, all of a sudden, I realized how uneducated I really was.

And, I think, my husband was a bit ashamed of me.

Because of his shame, he has decided to embark on a great undertaking – to help me go back and get my GED in 80’s and 90’s movies.

Last Saturday night, I watched Ghost for the first time. Besides the fact that Demi Moore was going through a shockingly awkward stage, it was quite enjoyable, for being an “old” movie. And it also turned into some extremely weird dreams.

A couple of weeks ago (before this Great Undertaking started), I saw Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for the first time (followed closely by watching the new Robin Hood movie that’s out in theatres now). For the 9 year old girl that had the soundtrack and absolutely wore out “Everything I Do I Do It For You”, I was a bit confused that the song didn’t even come on until the credits, but according to Chris, it was the “90’s’ thing to do”.

(I’m not sure where I was in the 90’s, but apparently where I wasn’t was in the movie theaters.)

So now, Chris has our Netflix completely chock full of all of these “classic” movies that I somehow missed out on during my formative years. And, seeing that I’m living on the couch these days, it’s a good time to cram for my Movie Exams. But Chris is quite concerned that he will not be thorough enough in my education, and wanted me to ask all of you…

What movie would make you gasp and shriek if you found out that I haven’t seen it?

Because I probably haven’t. And he’ll definitely add it to my Netflix lineup. So go ahead and gasp and shriek now, and then tell me what movies I need to add to my homework.

Because my undereducated state is, clearly, unacceptable to everyone. Especially my husband.

49 thoughts on “The (Movie) Education of Rachel

  1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off! A favorite of mine as a teenager. I saw it a half dozen times at least. That said, I saw it again recently and I was less impressed. Just imagine yourself young enough to think of Matthew Broderick as someone besides the guy married to Sarah Jessica Parker :)

  2. I'm not one to ask, because I haven't seen most of those movies, either. I did see Steel Magnolias, but not the rest of them.

    Hope it helps to know you weren't the only one missing out. : )

  3. I HAVE seen that one, but I haven't seen it as a "grown-up". I have a feeling it would be weird to re-watch it, too. But Matthew Broderick, to me, is immediately associated with the WEIRDEST movie I've ever seen, "Road to Wellville". That's what I'd be thinking about the whole time while watching.

  4. Here's the short list… Say Anything, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink (pretty much any John Hughes movie), St. Elmo's Fire, Top Gun, Cocktail, The Big Chill, So I Married an Axe Murderer… I could go on since apparently ALL I did growing up was watch movies. :)

  5. The Fifth Element (1997) and The Sixth Sense (1999) both with Bruce Willis, both AWESOME movies! I realize they aren't that old but they are from the 90's. :D And OMG I can't believe you haven't seen Titanic. That movie came out when I was in HS and I think every teenage boy I knew had seen it at least 3 times at the theater!

  6. I find that when I didn't see a movie and then go back to watch it, at the end I think, "Why on earth did I just waste two hours of my life. Totally could have done without it." That happened with Titanic. I saw it several years after it was such a hit. I thought it was kind of boring.

    On another note…how bout some of the "older" classics like Dirty Dancing or Greese? Sense and Sensiblity was one of my favorites in high school, so were That Thing You Do, The Mask of Zorro, and Man in the Iron Mask.

    And all the chick flicks: You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Sabrina, The Wedding Planner, Runaway Bride, Sweet Home Alabama, Kate and Leopold, How to Tell a Guy in 10 Days, Two Weeks Notice, etc.

    But T and I are suckers for the older-than-that movies. We LOVE anything with Carey Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, James Garner, Audrey Hepburn. I have tons of old movies. Love them all!

    Apparently I watch a lot of movies. :)

  7. Everyone freaks out when I say that I haven't seen Top Gun or Goonies.

    "This Is The Day" gave you an AWESOME list, though. "That Thing You Do" is one of my all time favorites! Oh, and "Princess Bride"!

  8. Elizabeth – I have seen A League of Their Own, but only once, and years ago. That's definitely one I need to rewatch!!

    Tarin – I've actually never seen the Sixth Sense either! I heard what happened before watching it, and since the surprise was ruined, I never got around to watching it. And I've never even heard of The Fifth Element. I'll have to add them.

    This is the Day – I actually have seen most of those – except the really old ones. You and I must have been on the same movie watching plan. :)

    Beth – The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorites. If I hadn't seen that (AND read the book, by the way – which is AMAZING), my life would not be the same!!!

  9. Just for fun my recommendations:

    White men can´t jump
    Pulp Fiction
    Dead Poets Society

    (yeah terrible mix and this doesn´t mean I like them all ok?)

    I mean lately if it´s not for children I don´t go to the movies either.

    Good luck and have fun!

  10. Okay, until you watch "Steel Magnolias" and "Titanic," I can't be your friend anymore. Just go ahead and cue up all of Tom Hanks' movies, especially "Big," "Splash," "Forrest Gump," and "Castaway."

  11. I'm fairly schooled in '90's movies, but not at all in '80's movies and don't think I ever want to be. Ryan thinks it's a crime that I haven't seen most of his favorite movies such as Princess Bride & Young Frankenstein(which is way older than '80's).

    I most chime in that you need to watch A League of Their Own again, it is one of my all time favorites…I'm a huge baseball fan!

    That Thing You Do & Mask of Zorro are some of my '90's favorites too.

    The only movie I can think to add to the list is October Sky, but I'm not sure if it's '90's it might be early 2000's.

    You need to write a review post once you finish watching all these movies, I'd like to hear your thoughts and see if there are any movies that I need to watch.

  12. Even before reading the comments I was going to shout:
    Definitely a MUST see!

  13. Princess Bride
    When Harry Met Sally
    16 Candles
    Pretty in Pink
    Breakfast Club
    So, I Married an Axe Murderer
    Girls Just Want to Have Fun
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Hunt for Red October
    Apollo 13
    ALL Indiana Jones

    2 Things…still freaking out that you were 9 years old when Robin Hood hit the scene, and I hate Titanic. Since you are one of the very fortunate few who haven't wasted hours of their life on this movie, rejoice! Don't ruin it now.

  14. Rachel, we could so start a club for the cinematically challenged. I have seen a pretty good number of those mentioned, though. And even though I read and liked The Princess Bride, I haven't seen the movie. I know – shame. I guess I need to hit my queue, too.

  15. Hey Rachel….from one undereducated movie woman to another….count your blessings! I never was much of a movie fan growing up….I saw a few that made the "must see" list but I can't say that they added much to my life:). I love going back now and picking and choosing and seeing them from this side (over 29+ years old!). And comparing them to what was happening in history (I know – sort of nerdy but it sure makes sense to put movies -or literature– in its place). Have fun with your movie adventures and do post what you learn….I will be very curious……..

  16. Oh dear.

    Emma, Flight of the Navigator, Tremors, Back to the Future(s), Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Braveheart, Dances with Wolves, The Fugitive, Schindler's List, Shakespeare in Love, The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Poet's Society, Once Ado About Nothing.

    I also agree with most of the movies suggested by others. However.. I'm not so well versed on the 80's ones.

  17. Rachel, I'm dying for you. I can't belive that you've never seen Steel Magnolias…And you call yourself a Southern girl :)

    Netflix rocks! Better late than never! You have to add see the Princess Bride, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, The Count of Monte Cristo (such an amazing movie), and Splash.

    If I think of anymore I'll email them to you!

  18. Youv'e Got Mail is a must. Sleepless in Seatle, oh yeah.
    All the Grumpy Old Men (2). i watch Fried Green Tomatoes all the time.

  19. I like all the movies listed here except White Men Can't Jump, there is only one word they say in that movie, in every sentencs. I watched about 10 minutes and got sick of hearing about firetrucks. Do not watch, you would not like I am sure.

  20. I was going to say Princess Bride but you've seen that. I agree with everyone on League of Their Own, it's such a damn good movie.

  21. The Shawshank Redemption is definitely on the top of the list.
    The other comments pretty much named them all. The 80's movie my husband and i really love (embarrassingly) is Better Off Dead. It was in the early days of John Cusack. I don't think it made it very big in it's time, but I kind of love it.

  22. The Meaning of Life
    Robin Hood: Men in Tights
    History of the World, Part I
    Life of Brian (actually, anyhting by Monty Python).
    The Princess Bride

    I am actually horrifically undereducated in movies as well, much to my husband's chagrin, but the above are some the most hysterical movies ever made. :-)

  23. Gina's list is very good I love the Breakfast club and Say Anything. Without knowing what Chris has already chosen: Here is my short list:
    1.Last of the Mohicans (love it and the book)
    2.Braveheart (Might not be your cup of tea but Chris would probably like it, I love it but then I am of Scottish heritage)
    3.Apollo 13
    4. Ransom if you like a good thriller
    5. While you were sleeping (although that maybe newer than the 90's)
    6. Sweet Home Alabama
    7. The count of Monte Cristo
    8. Tombstone and YOung Guns 1 and 2( I love Westerns, but I realize most women don't
    9. The Matchmaker (it is a pretty obscure Romantic Comedy with janeane garofalo in it before she went off the political activist deep end) it is set in Ireland and I love it.
    10. Rudy and Remember the Titans- both true story football movies but if you saw and liked the Blind Side you will like them too.

    And I agree with Jackamo, I hate the Titanic. About halfway in to I was begging for the boat to sink. It was really disappointing to me because in real life as a history student the story of the Titanic has always fascinated me and the movie distroyed some of my fascination.

  24. I haven't seen Steel Magnolias, either. And I just watched Driving Miss Daisy for the first time a couple of months ago. I think I was so wrapped up in River Phoenix movies and whatever my mom wanted watch (horror, Pee Wee's Big Adventure) that I missed out on 80's Lady Movies. I did get in a lot of John Hughes and stange movies like Tron (was that 80's? I can't remember…I just remember watching it with my dad). I remember when A Christmas Movie came on the first time. I have watched it every year since then. I think that was 1983…I was 7 or 8 I know.
    Actually, I have something to admit: I saw Star Wars for the first time last year…And only the one named Star Wars. I haven't seen the others. Brett owns them all, but I just have no desire to see them!

  25. you haven't seen TITANIC?!?!!

    lol, what have you been doing with your life?!

    American Beauty, Star Trek: Generations, Office Space, Fargo, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Look Whose Talking (might be especially appropriate for your current condition ;-)

  26. Girl! We're going to catch you up to speed! If you have the strength, come on over to my house and I can give you just about any John Hughes movie (Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo's Fire, Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck….) and MUCH more! Chase teases me because all I watch is 80's & 90's movies. Seriously, come raid my stash!!!

  27. I'm no help because I'm right there with you, aside from Apollo 13. I was pretty sheltered when it came to movie, plus our family just didn't really watch movies much. My MIL always jokes about how she needed to screen her DIL's better because we both haven't seen loooots of old (and really old) movies.

  28. Omigosh! Will you share with us the top 10 "old classic" 80's and 90's movies on your Netflix queue? I think that would be fun for a rainy Saturday afternoon activity…

  29. WOW – my Netflix is going to be full for forever!!!

    Don't worry – I'll definitely write a wrap-up post of all of the movies I watch and my epiphonies from them.

    I've seen a lot of the last suggestions, but I haven't seen a lot more of them.

    I'll also publish a list on B-Sides of all of the movies you recommended, so if you want to fill your Netflix up, too, you can.

    Thanks so much! This will be fun. And I promise to hold you personally responsible for any horrible movies I watch.

  30. Wow! Titanic IS worth the 3 hours… I still love that movie!

    I have personally never seen The Princess Bride that everyone is suggesting- I think now its just rebellion b/c everyone thinks I should.

    I agree, Steel Magnolias- awesome movie.
    All I can offer up beyond what's been mentioned is Stand By Me. I will forever watch that when it comes on TNT, AMC, or any other channel.

    (Don't feel too bad, I don't think my hubby has seen ANY of those movies in the list, he's a whole other subject! ;) )

    Happy movie watching!!

  31. Okay, sorry, I just thought of one more must watch (in case your list isn't long enough yet!)
    A Few Good Men.
    How will you ever know why people say "you can't handle the truth!" if you don't watch this movie?
    Just sayin'…

  32. Rachel, of those on your list, I DID actually see Titanic in the theater (with my parents, of all people!), but didn't see some of the others (Steel Magnolias) til a year or two ago…and I have to admit, I JUST watched The Goonies for the first time last weekend. I feel your pain, I have much of the same lack of movie education ;-)

  33. how DID you get thru jr hight w/out seeing Robin Hood???
    (how was the re-make, BTW? )
    and the princess bride book IS great! i read that a couple years ago!
    good luck! you have some great suggestions!

  34. Don't worry about Titanic – I never saw it either and from all accounts never missed much.

    Sleepless is Seattle is also way overrated. I couldn't get over the fact that it is essentially a stalker movie. NOT ROMANTIC people! It was inspired by an affair to remember which is a billion times better.

    Hunt for Red October is great, as is Hopscotch and To Catch a Thief.

    I'm trying to think of movies that would make me shriek in horror because you haven't seen them. If you've never seen a James Bond movie, that would surprise me.

  35. Girls Just Want to Have Fun, starring young Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt (and quite a few other soon-to-be-big '90s names)

  36. Dirty Dancing. Absolutely my all-time favorite movie and such an 80s movie. 80s movies, in my opinion, were much better than 90s movies.

  37. I love the 80's! I have a long list. I tried to list movies that haven't yet been mentioned. Are you ready? here goes…

    She's Having a Baby


    The Dark Crystal

    Mommie Dearest

    Mystic Pizza

    Born on the Fourth of July


    Rain Man

    The Secret of My Success

    Dead Poets Society

    Risky Business


    An Officer and a Gentleman


    The Burbs

    Driving Miss Daisy

    Flowers in the Attic

    License to Drive

    Nine to Five

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Stand by Me

    A few movies I fell asleep through and don't recommend:


    Raging Bull

  38. I had fun just remembering these movies as I read through the lists. I LOVE The Burbs and Goonies although you might have to be 10 years old to appreciate Goonies.

  39. I'm in a bit of shock myself that you haven't seen these either. :)Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies ever.

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